The impact of anthropogenic emissions on the otherwise pristine Amazonian rainforest: Insights on aerosol dynamics as observed during GoAmazon2014/5
Abstract:The Amazon Basin during the wet season has one of the lowest aerosol concentrations worldwide, with air masses with negligible human impact covering thousands of kilometers of pristine forest. The natural environment is strongly modified near urbanized areas, in particular Manaus, a city of nearly two million people. This unique location provides the ideal laboratory to study isolated urban emissions as well the pristine environment by perturbing it in a relatively known fashion. The GoAmazon2014/5 experiment was designed with these questions in mind, combining remote sensing, in situ, and airborne measurements. This manuscript describes the measurements taken at the T0 site, upwind of Manaus, (the Amazonian Tall Tower Observatory, ATTO site), at the T2 site, near Manaus, frequently impacted by relatively fresh emissions from the city and at T3, 60 km downwind of Manaus. This work relates the aerosol dynamics of the mixture of anthropogenic emissions from Manaus and the biogenic air masses, and how it evolves from T2 to T3 under different atmospheric conditions. Focus is on the aerosol size distribution, supported by aerosol mass spectrometry and gas-phase composition, in particular at the T2 site.
At T0, the aerosol number concentration has been observed to increase from an average of 380 cm-3 to 1750 cm-3 from the wet to the dry season. The mean geometric diameter increased as well, from 95 nm to 145 nm. Interestingly, at the T2 site no significant difference was observed in number concentration between wet and dry seasons (approximately 4300 cm-3) with an average diameter of 60 nm during the former and 97 nm in the latter. Such measurements provide a unique dataset to understand the aerosol life cycle and the impact of urban emissions in the heart of the Amazon Forest.